FoodForward SA reaches 475,000 beneficiaries through its network of 1,000 registered and verifiable beneficiary organisations (BOs). We work with BOs like Joy Special Educare and Witkoppen Clinic that do impactful work in vulnerable communities. Donor funding helps us provide nutritious, surplus food to organisations such as these, where our food is used as catalysts for social development.
Witkoppen Clinic is a non-profit organisation that provides high quality and high impact comprehensive primary healthcare and social welfare services to residents of informal settlements in Gauteng. The clinic services areas such as Diepsloot, Kyasands and Lion Park, where unemployment levels exceed 50% and more than 70% of residents live below the poverty line.
Essential services offered at Witkoppen Clinic include, among others, HIV and TB screening, counselling, testing, care and treatment. Screening and management of chronic medical conditions, mental health support as well as preventative and curative maternal and child health support is also available. The clinic provides psychosocial care and support to over 540 orphans and vulnerable children.
The partnership between Witkoppen Clinic and FoodForward SA (FFSA) commenced in 2020 when the Bank of America (Merrill Lynch) provided FFSA with a grant of US$10,000 to deliver 100 monthly, nutritious food boxes for vulnerable patients attending the clinic. These boxes contain food items such as maize meal and rice, as well as calcium- and protein-rich food items.
Witkoppen Clinic supplies food support to over 200 patients per month. Through their partnership with FFSA, Witkoppen Clinic has been able to respond to the nutritional needs of vulnerable beneficiaries. According to Dagmar Kahn, Business Development Manager at Witkoppen Clinic: “It has been a very rewarding experience seeing individual patients, especially at-risk patients and the critically sick TB patients, improve their nutritional status and heal. This was due to the fact that the patients could now drink their medication regularly and on time as FoodForward SA and Witkoppen Clinic made it possible for them to have a proper meal every day.”
Says Dr Jean Bassett, Witkoppen Clinic’s Executive Director: “Witkoppen values the partnership with FoodForward SA, and we are grateful to have donors like yourself who believe and support the work we do.”
Joy Special Educare
For the past 30 years, Joy Special Educare, situated in Tafelsig in Mitchells Plain, has cared for disabled children with multiple disabilities. The Centre was started by a group of working parents who did not have a safe place for their children during the day.
In 2005, Joy Special Educare battled to meet its daily expenses. It was then when the director at the time, the late Mrs. Alvirah Payne, started donating her monthly salary to keep its doors open. Funding from the government was only received in 2011. Mrs. Payne, sadly, passed away in April 2015 after a long battle with cancer. Her husband, Edgar Payne, took over her duties to continue her legacy. Their son (Edgar Jnr) was born with Cerebral Palsy and multiple mental health conditions. After 15 years, Edgar Jnr is still at The Centre.
Joy Special Educare caters for children (0-25 years) with special needs, including Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Epilepsy, etc. The Centre offers transport services and starts collecting children from 06:30 am within Mitchells Plain and surrounding areas, for their program to start at 08:30 am. The organisation has qualified staff and caregivers to monitor and evaluate all pupils and to help them develop to their optimal potential.
Food plays a particularly important role at Joy Special Educare. In most cases, the only meal the children receive for the day is here. Joy Special Educare distributes monthly food parcels to the families of the children and they also distribute food parcels to other members of the community because of the dire need for food within the community. In July they distribute food parcels on Mandela Day and by the end of the year they provide the children with a Christmas lunch.
“We are thankful to FoodForward SA for making these projects possible. The collaboration between Joy Special Educare and FoodForward SA provides our organisation with nutritional and valuable consumables in this dire time of need,” says Payne. “The organisation became a member of FoodForward SA because we realised that the need for food and hunger within our community is extreme. Being an NPO with our aim to serve the community and the children’s families, it would have been financially very difficult to run this project.”
Joy Special Educare employs a cook to prepare nutritional meals which include breakfast (porridge), lunch (a cooked meal) and a healthy snack (fruit, juice, sandwich, etc.).